In our current society, with the growing developments, Education has gained a lot of prominences. Unlike food, cloth, and shelter as basic needs, now in recent times, Education is also treated as a basic need. The government had made certain provisions and laws making Education compulsory for children of a certain age. These Compulsory Educational Laws help in uplifting and develop both the individual and society simultaneously.
In 2002, the Indian Constitution made Education a fundamental right. Article 21A states, “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children aged six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.” In particular, The state must ensure that children do not suffer any injury as a result of exercising their fundamental right to Education. And as a result, schools must offer safe facilities as part of compulsory Education.
Significance of Compulsory Educational Laws in India
The relevance and the prominence of Education have been increasing in recent times. It became important for every person to have at least a minimum level of Education, beginning from the primary level of schooling. This made Education compulsory and implemented an act relating to basic Education.
The government has introduced the Right to Education (RTE), 2009, which is completely titled “The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act”. This Act has its fundamental basis in the Directive Principles of State Policy, which mentions the right to Education. Later, with the 86th Amendment, the provision, along with the RTE act, is elevated to the Fundamental Right.
The term “free” appears in the title of the article. More importantly, It means that no child is responsible for paying any fee, charge, or expense that prohibits them from pursuing and completing primary Education. As per the RTE Act, the government must ensure that Education is available to children of ages 6 to 14 years and they complete their primary school.
Important Features of the Right To Education Act (RTE)
- Every child between the ages of 6 and 14 has the right to free and compulsory Education until the completion of basic Education.
- Payment, capitation charges, interviews of children or parents, and running schools without recognition are all prohibited under the legislation.
- It establishes a process for selecting instructors who are appropriately qualified. The Act establishes the standards and norms for teacher qualification and training.
- The Act aims to prevent teachers from using it for non-educational purposes other than local authority elections, state legislatures, and disaster relief.
- It establishes the roles and obligations of appropriate governments and local governments in providing free and required Education.
- The Act also includes the division of financial and other responsibilities between the state and federal governments.
These are the few important features of the Right To Education Act (RTE). In 2005, a tentative draft of the bill was created. It sparked a lot of debate since it made it essential to give a 25% reserve for disadvantaged pupils in private schools. Originally, the Indian Law Commission advocated a 50% quota for disadvantaged pupils in private institutions. The Supreme Court of India concluded on May 7, 2014, that the Right to Education Act does not apply to Minority Educational Institutions.
“The state shall attempt to provide for free and compulsory education for all children until they finish the age of fourteen years within ten years from the start of this Constitution,” the Constitution states in Article 45 of the Directive Principles of State Policy. Article 12 defines the term ”State” as “the Government and Parliament of India, the Government and Legislature of each of the States, and all local or other authorities within the territory of India or under the administration of the Government of India.”
Relevance of Compulsory Educational Laws in India
In India, Education plays a prominent role in the lives of all people. India is a country where the youth population is in great numbers. With a huge population, the demand for employment has increased. As a result, Education is the most important to everyone.
Primary Education plays a dominant role in the lives of individuals. Therefore, The government enacted a law making Education compulsory for children of a certain specific age of six to fourteen years. To summarise, The main objective of this Educational Law in India is to provide the basic standard of Education to all children. As time passes, the educated population has increased in India. It is shown with the growing prevalence and relevance in the current times. Hence, this substantiates the relevance of compulsory education laws in India.
Important Case Laws relating to the Educational Laws in India
There are many prominent cases relating to compulsory Education in India. Some of which are Avinash Mehrotra v. Union of India & Others, Mohini Jain Vs. State of Karnataka and M.A Pai Foundation Vs. State of Karnataka etc.
In Mohini Jain Vs. State of Karnataka case, The Supreme Court ruled that under Article 21A of the Constitution, access to Education is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to a person by collecting a higher price. There exists a good correlation between the right to Education and the right to life.
In M.A Pai Foundation Vs. State of Karnataka case, it was held by the Supreme Court that state governments and universities could not regulate the admission policy of unaided educational institutions beyond linguistic and spiritual minorities. But, they can establish educational qualifications for college students and develop rules and regulations to uphold educational principles.
From the above, the provision of compulsory education law depicts the idea of providing Education to all children. It also aids in providing universal basic Education. The government enacted the Right to Education Act (RTE), 2009, with various objectives in the field of Education. To achieve our objectives, India must prioritize and invest in bringing the Act into engagement with stakeholders. This engagement should be both outside and inside the administration.
Otherwise, the Act will join the ranks of yet another piece of legislation. This failed to protect the gap between concept and implementation. As the importance of Education is growing, the relevance of Education in society is also increasing. As a result of which, the Right to Education is included in fundamental rights, i.e., article 21 of the Constitution.
In particular, Article 21 discusses the right to life. It ensures that every child between the ages of 6 and 14 has the right to free and compulsory Education. Thus, It helps the government in achieving the goal of providing basic Education to all children.